[co-author: Michael Sochor]
This article originally was published by Law360.com
Many companies are now aware that if they incorporate open-source software into their products, there are specific terms and conditions that go along with the grant of the use of the particular OSS that are spelled out in license(s) accompanying the OSS. Ramifications for failing to abide by such terms and conditions may not only subject companies to liability for copyright infringement and court order injunctions against continued use of the software but also may require exposing a company’s proprietary software source code, which incorporates the OSS, to open sourcing.
Therefore, it is very important that companies implement an open-source compliance program and understand not only the various different OSS licenses and obligations, but also understand the differences that exist between programs and programming languages that may seem to be the same.
(Note that variations in situations or licenses may require different approaches to be taken in order to comply with open-source licenses.)